Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

First post here, and I'm new to reloading and even shooting. 2 years ago I hadn't even shot a gun, and buddy of mine got me into it. I first bought a 870 express in 12g, then a Taurus PT-145, and now a 700 ADL chambered for the .300 win mag with a 26" barrel. 1/10 twist.

I bought the 700 new from Cabelas last year, and it came with a Cabelas 3-12x40 scope. For a scope that just came with a gun I'm impressed with it's clarity.

Anyway, the first ammo I bought for the sight in was the cheapest stuff I could find at $25 a box: Federal Power-Shok with 180gr Speer Hot-Cor bullets. I also bought a $40 box of Hornady 180gr SST that I figured I'd use for hunting afer using the federal's for sighting in.

After sighting in 1.5" high at 100 yards, it was dead on at 200 yards. The hornady ammo barely hits paper at 200 yards, while the cheap Federal yields sub .5" groups at 100 yads, and consistent .75" groups at 200 yards! Needless to say I bought a couple more boxes of the federal ammo. Also, because of how fast this things heats up I only shoot 4 shot groups and then let it cool for 10 minutes.

Even at $25 a box, it was too costly to shoot this all the time. I have a yearly pass to the range, so I'm there all the time.

So, I bought the Lee Anniversary reloading kit, a RCBS 750 digital scale, RCBS neck sizer, Lee bullet seater, Lee full length sizer, and a Titan caliper.

I saw good reviews on the Sierra Game King bullets and Speer Hot-Cor, so I bought 100 of each in 180gr. I also figured since the Federal ammo my gun loves shoots the same Speer bullet I'd get similar results.

WRONG

I'm using once-fired federal brass that was shot in my 700, CCI large rifle magnum primers, and IMR 7828 powder. Since the brass was first shot in my gun, I'm only neck sizing and triming the brass.

Using either the Sierra or Speer 180gr bullts, my best groups are 2.5" at 200 yards. A far cry from the .75" with factory ammo. I've also tried reloader 22 powder with the same results.

I've tried seating the bullets at an extended 3.4" to get closer to the rifling rather than the 3.340" like the books say, but 3.340" yields better results every time. The federal factory ammo is 3.295"...

Like one should, I start the load on the light side and work my way up. I've only seen a sign of over pressure once where I saw the ejector mark on the brass, and that was with 76gr of 7828. 74gr yields the most accuracy, so I don't go beyond that. R22 is best at about 75gr.

So, help a newb out. Anything else I should try?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,290 Posts
Welcome to ShootersForum, Luke! Rules are simple, be nice and join in. :)

Your story reads like many others and let me say I'm impressed that someone who has only been into shooting for two years has an annual range pass AND is reloading, already!

It sounds like you're doing everything right with your handloading, and to be honest 2.5" groups at 200 yards is really quite good, in most books. That means even a target as small as a deer is in serious trouble, out to 400 yards, or so.

If you're sure the factory Federal loads were Speer bullets, seated that deep, I would suggest trying the same, if you haven't already. Did you ever chronograph the factory loads? Maybe they're using some kind of powder we can't get to handload with, so YMMV. I know it must be frustrating to have factory ammo shoot so well and handloads fail to give the same performance. I think you'll want to continue trying other bullets until you find a bullet/powder combination your gun really likes, in a handload. Rest assured, if your gun is capable of shooting that well, you are capable of creating a load that will duplicate the factory accuracy, if not velocity.

Keep us updated on your findings!

Jason
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,448 Posts
Luke,

Welcome to the forum. Rules are to join in, have fun, and play nicely with the rest of us kids.

Several thoughts: First, a lot of neck sizing dies have a problem in that they pull the necks off-axis with the rest of the case. Only the Lee Collet Die has been reviewed not to, so you may want to give that a try? Also, even with good neck sizing, many shooters find the rounds are more accurate if there is a small bit of shoulder setback, on the order of a thousandth of an inch or so. They use something like the Redding body die to achieve that (it leaves the neck alone).

I'll also suggest that sometimes a powder that is not quite a maximum performer in terms of muzzle velocity can give you better accuracy. It has to do with barrel timing. Try something like H4831.

A lot of guys wait a couple minutes between shots rather than shooting several, then cooling. That reduces chamber temperature so you have less pre-heating of the powder between chambering and firing, and also it is more similar, shot to shot.

Take a look at a good systematic way to find accurate loads. Dan Newberry's Optimum Charge Weight site describes a round-robin method that I like and that I've had nothing but positive feedback about from those to whom I've recommended it and who have tried it. I recommend you read the whole site. I disagree with some of his comments on tools and methods of tightening loads further, but he has been successful at getting guns within 1/2 moa or so without special treatment.

Bullet seating depth preference is gun-individual. You often find a sweet spot a short distance off land contact and another with the bullet bearing surface about a caliber into the case neck. You can tune it with a load about 10% below maximum so you avoid worrying about pressure change when you touch the lands or seat the bullet deep into the case. Newberry's round robin, substituting seating depth adjustments for change in powder charge will help you find it. A number of folks have observed that with equipment that improves bullet alignment, such as the Redding and Forster competition seating dies, the sensitivity to bullet seating depth and distance off the lands goes down. A tool like the Hornady concentricity gauge which lets you deflect the bullet and neck to correct runout may prove worthwhile for you?

Once you have a seating depth you want to stay with, then use the round robin to tweak the powder charge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
620 Posts
+1 to everything said already. I use to shoot my .300 Win with RL22, can't recall the charge, but WLRM primers and 150 gr Hornady Interbonds. Last time I shot it I got a 10" group at 550 yards with a Benelli R1 semi-auto.

I must say that those Federals are shooting really well out of your gun. I would keep shooting them aside from the fact that you want that performance out of your own loads and the price factor. Many people don't even get that size groups out of hand loads, and you may fire quite a few rounds down your bore before you find one yourself that shoots that good! One thing you could do if you have not done already would be to go back shoot another round with the federal's to make sure something on you gun didn't get nocked loose, and make sure everything is snug and tight.

In my customs I have hit the spot of the first time hand loading, and other times(most of the time) I have to do a little R&D before I find a winner. Even then I wonder what I could do to make it better.

Good luck on your journey!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick replies!

Jason, I had thought about matching the bullet seating depth of the Federals, and now that you suggest trying it I for sure will.

Nick, that sounds like a pretty serious issue with neck sizers. How can I check to see if my RCBS is doing that to the necks? Also, thanks for the link, I'll check into that for sure.

spitfire_er, I kinda wondered the same thing, so last week I shot a four shot group with the federal factory ammo again and it yeilded a 1 1/4" group. That was after shooting about 20 reloads, and my 700 is a copper fouling nightmare. If I hadn't run across Bore Tech Eliminator I would have lost my mind.


Next I'm going to try seating the bullet at around 3.30". Another thing on the radar is IMR 4831 powder.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,717 Posts
I would also suggest H-4831 an excellent powder in the 300 win.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Is there much of a different between IMR-4831 and Hogdon H4831?

The hogdon has the 4831 in the short cut, which flows much better through my powder dispensor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,290 Posts
Luke,

When seating bullets deeper, case capacity is reduced so go back to starting loads. Also, IMR-4831 and H4831 are pretty similar, but I would never suggest interchanging them. Go with the 4831SC and reduce your charges...you might find you get the accuracy those factory loads were capable of shooting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
639 Posts
Try switching to standard primers. I've gotten excellent results in both the .300 Winchester and Weatherby magnums with standard primers and RL22 and IMR 7828.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,484 Posts
don't rule out 4350 either... it may not be optimum but i've had good results with the 165gr hornady spire points and AA4350. you may not get top velocity but i'd bet you wont lose much
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
All guns are differant, and like differant bullet/powder/primer combinations.

My 300 WM is a Single Shot Model 70 gun I built for 1000 yard matches. It has a douglas 1-10 heavy long barrel. And it only likes 200 SMKs and 4350. I tried fancy expensive bullets of every weight you can imagine. I've tried 4831, R-22, etc and always come back to the same 200 w/4350.

If you want accuracy, you have to just keep playing with differant components until you find the exact combination for your gun.

Remember to only change one item at a time and record every change you make. Its a pain in the butt, but it will be worth it when you reach that perfect combination.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again for the great advice everyone!

Since I'm so new to this I haven't ruled anything out yet. I think I've only shot about 100 reloads through this thing, but I keep track of everything and have documented the groups that each combination has yielded so I don't try the same thing twice if it didn't work out well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
UPDATE:

I created a spreadsheet with about the last months worth of targets that I documented what powder, bullet, primer, charge, etc. While documenting all this and seeing it all side by side, I noticed that I'd change several things at a time on a load. Big mistake.

I also noticed there was some combinations I had missed, so I made some loads and went to the range today.

74gr of 7828 with a 180gr Speer Hot-Cor= 4 shot 5/8" group at 100 yards.
73gr of RE22 with moly coated 180gr gameking = 4 shot 1 1/16" group at 100 yards

Also, picked up some H4831SC last week: (all 4 shot groups)

70gr with 180gr Speer Hot Cor = 1" group at 100 yards
71gr with 180gr Speer Hot Cor = 1.5" group at 100 yards
72gr with 180gr Speer Hot Cor = 1.25" group at 100 yards

Something else I did today based on the advice on the board is I waited about 2 minutes inbetween each shot to let the barrel cool. Seemed to work great, thanks!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
397 Posts
Luke,
I would be thrilled to death if I could get a big rifle like that
to shoot 2.5 inch groups at 200 yards. You're doing pretty darned
good. Nothing wrong with trying the stuff the other guys are telling
you about, but a .300 magnum isn't a bench rest or varmint rifle
it's a big game buster, and the way you are shooting you should
be able to put down just about anything that walks around North America.
Zeke
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,290 Posts
Luke,

Good job being persistent and finding a few combinations that work well in your gun! One of the joys of reloading. :)

From what you posted, you've got a real shooter there in that 300WM. Only thing left to do is chronograph your velocity, decide which load(s) will suit your needs and then keep practicing so you're ready when a shot presents itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE:

I managed a 1.5" 4 shot group at 200 yards with the 7828, but I think there's even more room for improvement.

Also managed a sub 1" group at 100 yards with the H4831C.

Time to try .2gr to .5gr adjustments to fine tune it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Questions

Hi All,

Like Luke, I am also new. I was wondering what the most affordable priming tool and concentricity gauge would be. I have been told for quality purpose to go witht the Sinclair priming tool, but is there really quality amongst them? Does one seat the primer better than the other? I have everything else only, depending on what priming tool I get referred to, I will also need the casing holder for 30-06 and 303 British.

Thanks for alowing me to post.

RM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,106 Posts
Here's another factor to toss into the mix:

I've had great sucess loading my 180's on top of IMR-4350. I load for 3 different .300 WM's (a Model 70, a Ruger 77 MK I and a 77 MK II) and a 180 Grand Slam sitting on 72.0 gr. of IMR-4350 does superbly in all 3 rifles. Best to reduce and start in your particular rifle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
596 Posts
I have loaded for the 300 win mag and I use H4831 and place a 180 Accubond on top and it is amazing.
I would start at 70grs and work up.

Blessings,
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top